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Interviews, Music

Interview: GWAR’s Oderus Urungus on New Album “Battle Maximus”, Immortality and More!

By: Shelby Monita (@shelbymonita) –

Oderus Urungus (center) of GWAR.

Interstellar metal band, GWAR will release their 13th full-length studio album, Battle Maximus, on September 17th.  After losing band member of ten years, lead guitarist Flattus Maximus, portrayed by Cory Smoot in 2011 due to natural causes while the band was touring in support of their last album, Bloody Pit of Horror, GWAR have assembled what they are calling their greatest album to date, a fitting tribute to Flattus.

“The next chapter in GWAR”, lead singer Odeous Maximus, portrayed by Dave Brockie explains, “is fighting Mr. Perfect, who comes through time to steal from GWAR the secret of immortality… the far greater struggle is to move on after losing Flattus Maximus.” Though Flattus does live on in this record. One of his final projects was constructing GWAR’s own recording studio, Slave Pit Studio, the latest album is the first to be recorded in this space. When speaking of recording in GWAR’s own studio, Odeous describes how Flattus influenced the process, “We recorded the new album using the lessons of Flattus, this was going to be his first time recording at the studio, but unfortunately that didn’t work out. Felt like we had to make him proud of us. Flattus was never far away from us during the process.” Odeous does elaborate to admit, “Owning your own studio is so much easier. Everything you need is right there. GWAR being GWAR, in GWAR’s studio. As a result I think we’ve come up with probably our greatest fucking album ever.”

Finding a new guitarist was no easy feat. In order for Pustulus Maximus, portrayed by Brent Purgason to take the position as lead guitarist, he first had to endure a battle between all the Maximus’ on Earth, once the dust was settled, he was the one left standing, and as it turns out, a perfect fit for GWAR. One can only imagine what barbaric scene would of played out during that battle. GWAR have admitted to many attempts at destroying the human race while stuck on Earth, though have faced numerous difficulties adapting to the technical age, as Odeous expresses with frustration, “We are traditional guys who want to still have fun with medieval devices. We don’t want to resort to using nuclear bombs. It is way more fun to kill people with your hands. More up close and personal.” Odeous’ disgust for the human race is even obvious when talking about popular TV show, Breaking Bad when he describing how unrealistic character of Jesse is portrayed simply because he has gained weight throughout the show, something that would never happen to a true drug addict.

GWAR’s career is nearing the 30-year mark. A tough defeat for most bands, Odeous expresses his motives to keep going, “Being immortal helps, unlike being a normal human where you make a few albums and drop dead. There is a tremendous amount of really horrible music that is out there, that’s another reason we do it so much. There is so much awful shit out there that someone has to revive the human race- something that doesn’t completely fucking suck and to amuse us. There isn’t a lot to do on this planet except heavy metal, devise massive war machines and destroy enemies from outer space. This is what I do for a living and I’ve always been like this.”

Though GWAR have an extensive collection of merchandise including dolls, BBQ sauce and beer, they have no plans to add to this for the next while, at the moment all their focus is on the new album and tour. When asked how it is best to experience GWAR for the first time Odeous replies, “To get the full GWAR experience you have to see it and hear it… not just the sight of GWAR, not just the sound of GWAR, also the smell of GWAR.”

You can catch GWAR and their many smells this fall as they tour across North America, including a stop in Toronto at the Phoenix Concert Theatre on November 12th.

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